On The Road Again… 2 Books and a CD

Book Reading and Signing: “Awakening in Our Times.”

Date: Tuesday, October 7, 2014, 7pm – 8.30pm

Location:  6163 Elkwood Drive, Greely, Ontario, K4P 1N1

Phone: Kay Aveling 613 821 9035 (H), 613 795 1970 (cell)

Book One: Redemption

Book Two: Trailing Sky Six Feathers: One Man’s Journey with His Muse

Contact  kay@green-spirit.ca

TRAILING SKY SIX FEATHERS: One Man’s Journey with His Muse

Our industrial growth civilization is a system devouring itself; dislocating the organic structures of Mother Earth to the point that all species – not just our own – are at risk. It has taken us to the edge of a dangerous precipice. From there we stare into the abyss of climate change, ecosystem and financial collapse, nuclear energy breakdown, resource wars, cyberbullying, terrorism and anarchy. These issues are making civilization vulnerable to extinction. I believe that our culture needs to awaken spiritually in order to ensure survival.  My new book “Trailing Sky Six Feathers” illuminates issues that will impact the human race for generations. The book follows my spiritual journey as I travel across the globe throughout the course of two lifetimes.

Book video: http://youtu.be/9ohImbVX57g

KEY POINTS IN THE STORY

  • HERO’S JOURNEY OVER FOUR CENTURIES
  • PLANETARY CARE – 18TH CENTURY RENEWAL, 21ST CENTURY ACTIVISM
  • EARTH WISDOM OF THE ELDERS/ SHAMANIC HEALING
  • FUTURE GENERATIONS
  • GURU TRAINING IN INDIA/ NDE/TRANSFORMATION
  • REMEMBERING; PAST LIFE COLLIDING WITH PRESENT LIFE/ RESISTANCE
  • TRANSFORMATION OF KARMA/CONSCIOUSNESS
  • VERY DIFFERENT KIND OF LOVE STORY THRO’ CENTURIES

Front Cover Trailing Sky Six Feathers

The darkness before us does offer an opportunity, a chance to remake ourselves by transforming our minds. Instead of being eaten up by the abyss we can choose to Awaken Spiritually, for that transforms the one thing we can control – our minds. It often seems that we are waiting for someone to step up for us – a Mandela, Ghandi or Martin Luther King. But they are dead and gone. So it is up to you, up to me, to step up and awaken spiritually. That’s what my book – Trailing Sky Six Feathers is about.

There are two main characters that open the book in 18th century Arizona – Trailing Sky Six Feathers and Eagle Speaker. When the reader encounters Trailing Sky Six Feathers, my muse from the past, they encounter a powerful, relentless woman who transforms my life in reality in the 21st century.  She has been described as one of the most powerful women in modern Canadian Literature. Eagle Speaker is her husband and also my transformation vehicle. He dies cradled in her arms in a medicine wheel in the year 1777. As he takes his last breath, Trailing Sky whispers to him: “I will find you my husband, I will find you.” Past life memories collide  n with the present. Karma is reversed, the internal battles are over, and I begin to live life as a Meditation for Gaia. The relentless shadowing by this engaging Muse brings understanding not only to me, but to anyone engaged in overcoming the darkness of their past. This book caps my long-term fascination with consciousness.

From the Blue Ink Review: “Though this fantastic tale leaves room for skepticism, most who read Prattis’ latest work will be swept up in this saga of self-examination, revelation, and indeed, exhilarating global adventure. Prattis writes with erudition, charm and humor, ridiculing his own blunders as much as he praises his teachers. Prattis presents a unique viewpoint hewn from hard-won exploration of traditional wisdom, offering all of us the overarching advice to “awaken spiritually,” so that we may “create a stable economy and way of life” and save Mother Earth.”

REDEMPTION – The Lost Manuscript

And so I come to the second book of 2014, Redemption, a novel I first wrote in 1975.  It was forgotten, as back then I did not know how to get published. The manuscript was rediscovered by accident in 2011. I found it in an old filing cabinet where it was gathering dust. I could scarcely believe it was such a good read and requested my wife and a couple of friends with critical eyes to read it through, just in case I was dreaming. One friend cried all the way through, the other mused about the film to be made. Modern technology enabled the yellowing typed manuscript to be transformed into a computer-ready document. It required attention ranging from spelling and typos with small additions from my writer’s eye some forty years later, yet stands pristine as when first written. The story is an allegory for the life difficulties I experienced at that time, forty years ago. The surprise for me was how could I have written such a book while in a desperate state of mind? I was a total mess with a failing marriage in the Hebrides, Scotland, and trying to maintain a career at Carleton University in Canada. I was not doing a good job with either.

http://youtu.be/FLd7_gxIlYw – book video

This novel is set in The Hebrides, islands off the northwest coast of Scotland, with startling cycles of maturing and downfall of the main character Callum Mor, a gifted child, master mariner, derelict drunk, who eventually gains wisdom from a hard life’s journey. He enters the dark zone of alcoholism and withdraws from society. With only his animals keeping him this side of sanity, he survives in a bleak solitude. Until a family with a small girl seeking refuge from a storm come to his house. Slowly, he edges away from his self-destruction. He saves the girl’s life in a blizzard. At this point, a glimmer of awakening dawns in him, and this sets the stage for the final drama that illuminates the resilience of the human spirit. Laced with grim humor, the story has nature’s harsh and beautiful rhapsody as the background for tragic human failings. It applies universally to human suffering in a chaotic world. The triumph of human decency provides redemption rather than giving up. Looking at this book forty years later, I notice the contemporary theme of Global citizens staring into the abyss, Yet instead of being eaten up by it all, I say:  “Awaken spiritually” for that transforms everything.

Redemption front cover

Lucille Hildesheim, International Harp Artiste has this to say about the book:

“What marks a great work of art is that it touches the heart and soul. Redemption touched mine very deeply. It is so vividly descriptive of both scenery and people, drawing you into the life of Callum Mor, making you cry for him, cheer for him, and wishing you could continue on his journey with him. It is a book to be read over and over again, from which to take away life lessons and inspiration for our own personal journey. This is a book to share with those who touch your life.”

Silver Medal in Nature Conservation from 2014 Living Now Awards

failsafef 2 -banner

Many of the ideas expressed in Failsafe were presented to students – both at the university and in the meditation hall. Their feedback and helpful suggestions prompted me to refine the basic ideas.  I first talked about a Failsafe in Consciousness in my 2002 book The Essential Spiral: Ecology and Consciousness After 9/11, drawing on the post Enron crash where financial analysts actually talked about responsibility and ethics.  I also drew on the writings of E.O. Wilson – that despite all that was happening around us there was still an unmistakable link with nature’s systems in the human psyche.

 

So I endeavoured to improve on the ideas floated in 2002 and tried it out on my ecology class at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada. Failsafe became more than a set of ideas.  It had substance and a design based on three interconnected components. These were Innate Earth Wisdom; Counter Culture; Tipping Points in Consciousness – all of which intertwined with consciousness transformation. Can we fix the planet? This is the wrong question. Our present values and patterns of consumption are the architects of the present global ecological emergency. The right question is can we transform ourselves? My point in addressing Climate Change was that it was not the problem.  The real problem was the mind-set that created the ecological conditions for Climate Change to explode dramatically into the lives of every human being on earth.  I suppose it is an act of faith on my part, but I feel that once consciousness changes then different questions will be asked and different solutions found.  Out of the transformation will emerge the structures and institutions that can regulate global affairs without endangering all species – including our own.

 

Failsafe provides understanding of global eco-crises and issues a call to change the existing world order by arriving at a deep spiritual understanding of what needs to be done. Step by step methods to transform our existing mindset are laid out to usher in a new era of planetary care. Failsafe is about hope and faith and the clear knowledge that we have the capacity to get things done. There is hope for future generations to occupy a healthy planet and faith in the human consciousness to change. There is faith that we beings can awaken to the miracle and beauty of all of life. Failsafe provides examples and guidance for transformation and change. In the context of Climate Change and dire predictions for a habitable econiche for homo sapiens I present a Failsafe in Consciousness. I describe how consciousness expansion will be held in abeyance by wilful human ignorance until the global ecological situation deteriorates to a breaking point.  This breaking point will then act as a catalyst, penetrating such ignorance and activating consciousness so it is propelled into expansion, deliberation and change. 

 

I drew on the new discipline of Neuroscience, the Wisdom of Aboriginal Elders and the teachings of the Buddha about changing the human mind. Taming the human mind was a major issue, because to change external circumstances with technological fixes still leaves a damaging mind-set intact.  If our minds are not clear and at peace, we simply pass on our disturbance and selfishness to everything we create.

 

I started to give talks to the most unlikely audiences and found to my surprise that most of the folks listening got the drift of where I was going.  Their questions and requests for clarification enabled me to sculpt the Failsafe in Consciousness concept into a more understandable form.  I want to reach every man and woman in the street, as the sheer necessity of a bottom up revolution in patterns of consumption and behaviour is necessary for the Failsafe notion to kick in. Failsafe is taken from engineering, where the term is used to describe a stop lever or valve that comes into action whenever the machinery is in danger of exploding or breaking down.  As such, it is a useful metaphor for what is happening globally with Climate Change. I add to the Failsafe notion – particularly the idea of tipping points in consciousness.  This is akin to the Hundredth Monkey syndrome, where once a critical mass is reached then behaviour changes across the board.  In other words once a tipping point is reached there is a quantum leap of energy across the population.  For humanity I set this threshold at 2% of the human population. If 2% can truly commit to changing their minds and altering their patterns in the direction of voluntary simplicity, planetary care and compassion – then this is the tip of the spear that lances through the problem of Climate Change. 

 

Failsafe is by no means finished. There will be bright minds who will take it further, find loopholes in it and re-fashion it.  All this I gladly welcome. I look forward to the dialogue as it helps us move on. My hope is that you enjoy the book and share it with friends.  I will keep you up to date with my continuing journey as it evolves.

 

September/October Gigs

September/October book happenings begin with an interview in my garden, move to Toronto and then to Greely, Ontario with a radio discussion to create a podcast.  Much of this is brand new to this techie neophyte – but I am learning!

 

Two Lives of Ian Prattis

Interesting article in The Ottawa Citizen about my book “Trailing Sky Six Feathers.” The reporter took the conversation into the global sphere – ISIS, Collapse and how to come through from staring into the abyss. All kudos to Don Butler of the Ottawa Citizen for an excellent report. the basic tools I conveyed were to:

1. Live simply.

2. Build community.

3. learn to respond rather than react. 

http://ottawacitizen.com/news/local-news/how-the-two-lives-of-ian-prattis-could-help-us-all-survive

 

Another girlfriend

 

The week prior a film-maker came to my garden and meditation hall at Pine Gate Mindfulness Community to make a short TV Ad about the book. He even filmed my goofy standard poodle – Moksha – but she did not make the final cut. Next time for sure she will be part of it!

author video 60 sec – http://youtu.be/Pi-1ClM2mTg

 

Moksha 2012

Views on the “Redemption” Book

PRAISE FOR REDEMPTION

 

Lucille Hildesheim, International Harp Artiste

What marks a great work of art is that it touches the heart and soul. Redemption touched mine very deeply. It is so vividly descriptive of both scenery and people, drawing you into the life of Callum Mor, making you cry for him, cheer for him, and wishing you could continue on his journey with him. It is a book to be read over and over again, from which to take away life lessons and inspiration for our own personal journey. This is a book to share with those who touch your life.

Mary Helen Dean, Management Professional, Ottawa, Canada

I loved this book, captivating on so many levels, as the story reinforced my resolve. I have three criteria for a good book…I don’t want it to end, I love the end, and I do not wish to speak to anyone for several hours after I finish it. So, this met my criteria on all these levels!

Anita Rizvi, Consultant, Ottawa, Canada

“Redemption” is a riveting novel chronicling one man’s journey through the stages of innocence, darkness, destruction and transformation. The narrative may be applied both individually and universally. Individuals are suffering all over the world from the chaos that life brings, be it violence, abuse of power, cheating, torture or the destruction that comes with war. What is so exquisite about this novel is the tenderness and honesty with which the author deals with the human condition. Callum Mor draws us in as he demonstrates an intuitive understanding and respect for nature. We are intrigued by his innocence and purity which contrast so strongly with the tragic failings that surround him. When Callum Mor’s journey moves him even closer to the abyss, the author refuses to “sanitize” his experiences. Rather, they are put out there as graphically and tragically as they occur. The story pulls you in and before you know it, the reader is seduced and becomes Callum Mor. As he is redeemed, so are we. “Redemption” is so beautifully written, exploring the human condition in its entirety, even the darkest elements. The author does this with grace, elegance, compassion and without judgment.

 

SKU-000921572_COVER.indd

 

Tina Fedeski, Executive Director of Orkidstra Canada and founder of  The Leading Note Foundation.

A magical journey of the struggle towards hope, inspiration and love.

Jo Anne Denis, retired federal public servant from the Government of Canada.

Thank you for the gift of your book, Redemption. It is a lovely read. Elegantly sad. We all have a piece of Callum Mor in us. I certainly identified with many aspects of his journey. So thank you for the enjoyable hours reading about this fine human being.

To order a book: http://www.ianprattis.com/Redemption.html

Taking Refuge in The Five Mindfulness Trainings

Incense Offering by Carolyn                      

 The Fall Study Session at Pine Gate on Thursday September 4, 2014 begins with a Recitation Ceremony of the Five Mindfulness Trainings. Where did they come from?  They had to come from somewhere.  There are three major causes and conditions that permitted their emergence.  The first is the awakened mind of the Buddha; the second is the great skill of the Buddha as a teacher; the third is Thich Nhat Hanh’s insightful rewording of the Five Wonderful Precepts of the Buddha.  In a language that would appeal to the consciousness of the 21st century, the Buddha’s mindfulness trainings were renewed, in tune with modern historical, socio-economic and cultural developments.  So when we study and penetrate deeply into the mindfulness trainings we touch all three conditions, in particular the awakened mind of the Buddha.  At the same time we also touch our potential to be similarly awakened.

 

With the Five Mindfulness Trainings the Buddha communicated in a very precise way the ethical and moral basis of practice; of how to be with ourselves, with others and with the planet and society at large.  To be in touch with the Buddha’s awakened mind enables us to take refuge in the Three Jewels – the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha – in a very deep way, so that something deep and very wholesome stirs in our hearts. 

 

Taking refuge allows us to transport our everyday reality with its disasters, joys, ups and downs, into the loving embrace of teachers such as the Buddha and Jesus.  Their teachings provide instruments for practitioners to travel from the Historical dimension of daily life and be refreshed by touching deeply the Ultimate dimension of the awakened mind of the Buddha and other fully enlightened beings. 

 

Taking refuge in the Dharma, practices, sutras and trainings brings to mind the pivotal exchange between Ananda and the Buddha.  As the Buddha was preparing for his bodily death his faithful attendant Ananda put a number of questions to the Buddha on behalf of the monastic community.  The Buddha had repeatedly encouraged his disciples not to take refuge in the person of the Buddha, but in the island of mindfulness within the self where the diligent practice of the mindfulness trainings would reveal their Buddha nature.  Still Ananda had to ask: “Who will our teacher be when you are gone?” to which the Buddha replied “The Mindfulness Trainings,” adding “They are your teacher even while I am alive.”

 

Taking refuge in the Sangha brings the Buddha and the Dharma to life.  Without the Sangha, the Buddha and Dharma cannot evolve to be relevant to the suffering of our times, which is quite different from the times of the Buddha.  In the latter part of his ministry the Buddha took great care to reconstitute himself in terms of the sangha, so that if you wanted to truly touch the Buddha and Dharma you had to do so in the Sangha.    Thich Nhat Hanh has repeatedly referred to sangha building as the noblest profession in the 21st century.

 

Ordinees

 

I am convinced more than ever before that the world needs a universal code of ethics.  The Five Mindfulness Trainings fill this void.  For me they are a guide and protector in moments of doubt, so that I see clearly and can take care of my own internal garbage.  This is the only way to deal with the potential terrorist that lurks deep within everyone’s consciousness.  To unravel the insidious internal knots caused by generations of ancestral habits, created from ignorance, vengeance and separation – this is the work of the new revolutionary of the 21st century, transforming terror and violence first within themselves and then within the world.  It is not a political or intellectual exercise, nor a matter of compromised treaties or ceasefires.  It is an internal transformation of consciousness at the very core of our being.  It takes mindfulness to do this and the Five Mindfulness Trainings provide the starting gate, a guidance system and a deep well of internal ethics to live by.  This is why I do my very best to live by these trainings.

 

 

Redemption front cover

The Lost Manuscript

“The Lost Manuscript”

Second Blockbuster Book of 2014

“Redemption” is a story of Awakening and has its own story of emergence.  It was a “lost” manuscript, first written in 1975, forgotten until spring 2011. The narrative was vivified and refined with hindsight forty years later. It reads like an extended prose poem reflecting the primal forces of nature and of human nature.  Check out the book video:

Youtube: http://youtu.be/9ohImbVX57g  

Callum Mor, the epic main character, takes the reader on a deep Hero’s Journey. It opens with his childhood in the Hebrides, islands off the NW coast of Scotland. He draws wonderful mentors to him; his schoolteacher, who lights the spark of a bard in him, animal friends such as an otter, a brutal fisherman who shields his darkness from the boy as he matures. Callum Mor thrives despite the poverty of his home in an island nurturing with gentle humor and adventure.  This novel moves from the rhapsody of Callum Mor’s idyllic childhood through tragedies to the derelict zone of his alcoholic drowning out of pain and suffering.

His father, a seaman longing to be at home, is driven to madness by his inability to create a place for himself on the island. His brother is murdered on the docks at Montreal. So Callum Mor stays with his mother and forgets his yearnings to be a writer. He becomes the best fisherman in the region before grave misunderstandings tear his love, Catriona, away from him. This displaces his gifts as he drives himself and his crew to the very limits of endurance. The manner of his mother’s death is the final straw. Callum Mor’s sensitivities snap and he enters the dark zone of alcoholism and withdraws from society. With only his animals keeping him this side of sanity he survives in a bleak solitude.  Until a family with a small girl seeking refuge from a storm come to his house. Slowly he edges away from his self-destruction. He saves the girl’s life in a winter blizzard. The glimmer of awakening dawns in him while sheltering in a cave with the child warmly ensconced in a gutted carcass of a sheep he killed to keep her from freezing. He sees his life pass in front of his eyes and this sets the stage for the final drama that illuminates the resilience of the human spirit.

“Redemption” is my fourteenth book and first novel, though actually the first book I ever wrote.  In 1975 I was unable to get it published.  I found this “Lost” manuscript in an old filing cabinet, read it through and could scarce believe it.  I requested my wife and a couple of friends with critical eyes to read it through, just in case I was dreaming. Modern technology enabled the yellowing typed manuscript to be transformed into a computer ready document.   My wife thought it was incredible; one friend could not put it down and mused about the film to be made; the other friend cried through most of it.  All of which encouraged me to bring “Redemption” to life. I was tempted to leave this gem from 1975 in its pristine state, but realized that my insights some forty years later could enhance the narrative and flesh out “Callum Mor” into a character of epic proportions.

The story is an allegory for the life difficulties I experienced at that time–40 years ago. The surprise for me was how could I have written such a book while in a miserable state of mind? I was not in a good place – with a failing marriage in the Hebrides and trying to keep a career going at Carleton University in Canada. I was not doing a good job with either. Publishing this book in 2014 was an imperative for me, as a necessary part of my own life- journey. It is a companion to Trailing Sky Six Feathers: One Man’s Journey with His Muse-also published in 2014.  These books are writing me. Available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Xlibris websites. Check out: http://www.ianprattis.com/Redemption.html

Redemption front cover

 

Another girlfriend

Reflective Voices for Trailing Sky

Melissa Studdard is an Award winning author,” Editor of Criterion, Professor of English Literature, Radio Show Host Tiferet Talk Interviews. This is what she had to say:

“A thrilling adventure spanning four centuries, Ian Prattis’ Trailing Sky Six Feathers: One Man’s Journey with His Muse renders nothing less than a complete transformation of karma. In addition to weaving a narrative that will captivate readers from the first page to the last, Prattis tells a story of depth and substance, one that, through example, has the potential to activate healing and promote understanding. This is the story of determination, of humanity’s true nature and greatest potential, of how we can live in harmony.” 

 

 Another girlfriend

The BLUE INK REVIEW is the authoritative voice of the Indie publishing industry. Here are some excerpts from their review of the book.

 “In this spiritual exploration, a highly educated man becomes a humble seeker, works

painstakingly through the events of two fascinating lifetimes, and emerges with a

message for humankind. 

Prattis, whose childhood was marred by sexual abuse, set out to comprehend his

present life through his study of religious beliefs of indigenous peoples. This led him to

encounters with several contemporary Native American sages who forced him to drop

his intellectual approach and accept his lustrous spiritual experiences as real, not

dreams or self-induced visions. The merging of the parallel spirit world of Native

American religion into his current incarnation put many disparate elements of his life in

perspective and facilitated his reunion with Trailing Sky Six Feathers, “the greatest

medicine woman the Southwest has ever known.”

 

Though this fantastic tale leaves room for skepticism, most who read Prattis’ latest work

will be swept up in this saga of self-examination, revelation, and indeed, exhilarating

global adventure. Prattis writes with erudition, charm and humor, ridiculing his own

blunders as much as he praises his teachers.  Prattis presents a unique viewpoint hewn from hard-won

exploration of traditional wisdom, offering all of us the overarching advice to “awaken

spiritually” so that we may “create a stable economy and way of life” and save Mother

Earth. “

Flying Close - too close!

 

We Are The Ones We Are Waiting For

We seem to be waiting for a Mandela, MLK or Ghandi to step up and lead, whereas it is up to you, up to me to step up. The Hopi Prophecy from 2000 nails it correctly!

Hopi Elders’ Prophecy, June 8, 2000

“You have been telling people that this is the Eleventh Hour, now you must go back and tell the people that this is the Hour. And there are things to be considered.
Where are you living?
What are you doing?
What are your relationships?
Are you in the right relationship?
Where is your water?
Know your garden.
It is time to speak your truth.
Create your community.
Be good to one another.
And do not look outside yourself for your leader.
Then he clasped his hands together, smiled and said, “This could be a good time! There is a river flowing now very fast. It is so great and swift that there are those who will be afraid. They will try to hold on to the shore. They will feel they are being torn apart and will suffer greatly. Know the river has its destination. The elders say we must let go of the shore, push off into the middle of the river, keep our eyes open and our heads above water.
And I say, see who is there with you and celebrate. At this time in history, we are to take nothing personally, least of all ourselves. For the moment that we do, our spiritual growth and journey come to a halt.
The time of the lone wolf is over. Gather yourselves! Banish the word “struggle” from your attitude and your vocabulary. All that we do now must be done in a sacred manner and in celebration.

We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.

Tipi